Key Parts Of A Business Plan

A business plan is developed from the bottom up, so you need to work out all the details before you can write the summary.The number one issue for small businesses is finding customers.

Typically this is because they don’t understand it, are afraid of it, or have made it unnecessarily difficult because they haven’t carefully completed the rest of the business plan. Seek guidance from a SCORE mentor or other free services as mentioned here.

Financial statements are charts with lots of numbers and few words describing what they are all about.

The point of the competitive analysis section is to make sure you understand what you are up against.

This section should list about five competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, like operating hours, accessibility, pricing, return policy, marketing budget size, reputation, product delivery policy (is it provided free, at cost, or not at all), complementary products and services, current/outdated versions (which might also apply to current/outdated styles), and buying quantities (which may equate to lower or higher costs).

The specific marketing actions are developed in the Marketing Action Plan, which is used to implement your business idea.

Key Parts Of A Business Plan

In other words, what are you going to do to drive traffic to your front door — both literally and figuratively? For each of the five marketing steps, note the cost to implement (which, when totaled, becomes your marketing budget), if the items can be completed by you alone or whether you will need assistance, and the sales expectations (which when added together, become the sales forecast).

So this section must convince readers that the bet is a good one.

Include a one-page bio on each of the key people involved, which should be written in a style that demonstrates: “been there, done that, and have the T-shirt.” You want to demonstrate that you have the technical chops for the business as well as the leadership skills.

And of this sum, show how much you will be investing versus the amount being sought from the funder.

Remember that while the executive summary appears first in the business plan, it should be written last since it is the summary.

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